What To Look For In Future Leaders

Leadership never operates in a vacuum. There are always leaders and then there are always leaders in the making. Companies operate and rely heavily on the wisdom, experience and tenacity that leaders bring to the table. And it doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that this trend must continue for the greater good of the company and all its employees. But spotting a candidate that is ‘leadership material’ and than investing and grooming him or her for such a role is easier said than done. This is primarily what Leadership Training are for – to train and equip managers in their respective departments with the right tools to help identify, assess and groom candidates that have the potential to be leaders in order to fill the void that their predecessors will someday leave. So what does this process look like? Here are three key questions that managers must ask themselves before they begin:

What To Look For In Future Leaders

• Does the candidate have the essential competencies to be a leader? In other words, does he have what it takes? It is important that this potential candidate have not only the qualifications or knowledge but also the fundamental understanding of key concepts, facts and dynamics as they exist within the business.

• Does the candidate have the commitment to be a leader? While it may be true that they have great ambition or desire to be a leader, are they prepared to put in the hard work, perseverance and durability to not only survive through tough times but in fact thrive in it? Leaders need to have the ability to ‘weather the storm’ when the going gets tough. This is a foundational aspect of leadership skills training.

• Lastly does the candidate have the character to not only be a good leader but even a better leader? Do they have the principles and values necessary to help them lead their team or company with honesty and integrity? And will this character stay consistent during times of stress or challenge? Character is ultimately the foundation upon which the leader must stand. This is crucial to organizational leadership.

Leadership Programs are constantly in the process of fine-tuning individuals with the skills necessary to identify and develop talent. For more info on how this is done, please refer to the following article:What It Takes To Be A Successful Business Leader

Why Communication Skills are the Epitome of Human Progress

Why Communication Skills are the Epitome of Human Progress

Good communication skill does not just mean the ability to be understood, it means more than that. Effective communication skills can help humans convey their emotions that may be hard to discuss.

Since the beginning of time, what has set humans apart from animals has been our cognitive faculties and the depth of our Communication Skill. Like animals we too have the basic senses but we have something extra – self-awareness. And not only do we have self-awareness but we have always been able to communicate that when needed. Modern commercials and advertisements pick up on this subconscious ability and play to its strengths. All one has to do is watch a commercial of Calvin Klein (CK) or Apple. In the CK commercial you will immediately notice that the product itself is almost never shown. Instead they sell you a ‘mood’, ‘attitude’ or a ‘personality’. CK understood intuitively that often what a product makes you feel or think is more powerful than the immediate image of the product itself. The subconscious feeling one gets when watching a CK commercial is not even centered around the product but instead about feeling, ‘adventurous’, ‘sexy’ or ‘dominant’. Similarly Apple commercials rarely drone the watcher with close-ups and technical specs of their products. Instead they show you a montage of clips of how diversely their products touch people’s lives. From a five year old in a classroom to a seventy year old at home, from the medical labs of Harvard to a cottage in rural China, Apple commercials show how their products bring joy to people all over the world. They’re not selling you a product, they’re selling you a ‘life-style’. This is how to communicate effectively!

Even in the corporate world, communication skills are the brain, heart and blood of a company all at the same time. From casting the vision, to formulating a game plan, to planning a methodology all the way to the execution and gauging of the process, it is communication that drives the entire corporate engine. The corporate world is now looking at helping its employees in the process of ‘how to develop communication skills.’ All types of communication skills intuitively take into account the following:

• Clarity of Objective – No one wants to hear a muddled message. Yet most communicators fall into the trap of getting lost in ‘their’ story. Good communicators usually ensure their presentations, conversations and e-mails have single themes. They keep their meetings to the point and ensure that their communication follows Stephen Coveys principle of ‘beginning with the end in mind’.

• Practical Impact – Often in an official presentation, it is assumed that merely presenting the data and numbers will tell the story for itself. But actually, showing how those numbers have real-time effects on the company and consequentially on an employee will have a more personal and powerful effect on the listener.

• Vivid Expression – With the advent of media and graphics in presentations, the effects of decisions made can be shown in a more graphically intuitive manner that gives the listener a sense of realness. For example, showing how the net profit can blow past the previous years’ profits by implementing the current plan of action using graphics and animation can be more effective than just showing the adjusted figures.

Communication Skills Training is an important facet of corporate operations and management.It is the only medium that serves as the nerve center for the healthy exchange of ideas and feedback between the management and employees and even amongst themselves. Even Fortune 500 companies constantly work on improving this facet: Read related article in Forbes.com

For more information on Communication Skills Training, refer to this article: Is Communication Skills A Part of Soft Skills Training

Leadership – Asking the Tough Questions

Leadership – Asking the tough questions

Being a leadership coach I often have the privilege to be in the presence of future leaders. There is one question that I ask in every session, “Who is the leader that you emulate?” I get answers like, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and disappointingly………… Hitler. It happens session after session.

 

Regardless of how consistently it happens, it still saddens me to think that mankind can see something remarkable in a human like Hitler. It takes me a while to re-center myself but after I do, I ask a simple question, “Are you aware of how Hitler died?” There is a pregnant silence after which they say, “Suicide.”

 

Leadership is action, not position.” – Donald H. McGannon

 

After this awareness is created, the participants always reconsider their stance that Hitler is a leader to be emulated. I heave a sigh of relief; there is hope for mankind ………..

 

Being a leader is about asking the tough questions – it is not about providing the answers but it is about the asking the questions that stimulate thinking. It is about knowing that your opinions go through continuous change as you enhance your awareness and learning through your journey in life.

 

A leader’s role is to raise people’s aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there. – David R. Gergen

 

Leadership Traits of The Legendary Leader William Wallace

Leadership is one of the most admirable traits in the long history of mankind. Almost every nation and era has seen the rise (and sometimes fall) of great leaders; men and women who changed history for the better, who made a dent in the universe, who irreversibly had a lasting impact on all mankind. In the great nation of Scotland, lived the 11th century legend of William Wallace, who though being an ordinary landowner at one time went on to become one of the leading persons in the revolutionary Wars of Scotland. Wallace’s remarkable tenure in the War was portrayed magnificently by Mel Gibson in the 1995 Academy Award winning movie, ‘Braveheart’. Although a historical depiction, the movie is full of enduring illustrations in leadership skills. For our purposes however, we will look at one of my most favourite scenes that exemplifies this.

Before an intimidating array of English forces, stand the Scottish army, weary, low-spirited and reluctant to fight the English for fear of loss and death. Wallace rides from atop the hill, blue war paint streaked across his face, with his eye on the English forces on the horizon. He faces the battered Scots and begins talking to them. Several features of his leadership skills emerge from this breathtaking dialogue which leadership can incorporate even today:

“If this is your army, why do you go?”

Wallace asks the forces what their purpose is amidst their identity as an army. This is a crucial first step in helping people see the bigger picture – who are they? What are they here for? What drives them? Before focusing on the objective at hand, he gets to the heart of their personhood. Leaders must first learn to get to the hearts of the people they lead.

“I see my countrymen as an army…here in defiance against tyranny”

To the bickering and skepticism of the Scots, Wallace reminds them of the significance of why they are really here. People, including employees within a company, can easily be intimidated or skeptical of the task ahead of them. It is then when leaders must remind them to stand strong, face down the challenges that stare them in the face and stand for something bigger than their fears. It is when the odds are against them that true leaders find the strength within themselves to lift everyone else up.

“They may take our lives but they will never take our freedom!”

Wallace reminds the Scots of what is on the line here – not their comforts, happiness or even their lives but their legacy, their destiny, their freedom. Leaders must always be ready to remind their followers of those things that are bigger than them or their challenges. There is more at stake than just a job, a paycheque or profits. There is integrity, effort and excellence. And when the day is long gone and the problems are far behind, one can rest in the fact that they gave it their all, for the greater good.

Leadership Training Program focus on developing such intangible qualities that help their managers and leaders, not only achieve their goals and targets, but strive to empower everyone around them to reach greater heights as well. Here is an article on 10 qualities of superior leaders: 10 Qualities of Superior Leaders   

For more information on Leadership Training Programs refer to this article : Is Intuition an Important Leadership Trait?